Meal Deal – Spaghetti (UN, all MS) 2/8-21

  • Buy Rosina meatballs, 32 oz.
    • $1/1 Rosina Meatballs, exp. 2/29/12 (ALL YOU, Dec ’11)
  • Get Food Club spaghetti, 16 oz. and Pepperidge Farm garlic bread free.

Meal Deal – Fajitas (AM) 2/15-21

  • Buy 1 lb. deli chicken fajitas.
  • Get 1/2 pint beans, 1/2 pint rice, and 12 ct. corn tortillas free.

B1G1 Deals (locations as noted)

  • Buy 1 lb. deli smoked sausage, get 1 free. (UN, all MS)
  • Buy 1 Melitta basket filters, get 1 free. (UN, MSWT)
  • Buy 1 Top Care foot care product, get 1 free, equal or lesser value. (UN, MSWT, AM)
  • Buy 1 pkg. fresh catfish nuggets, get 1 free, equal or lesser value. (UN, MSWT)
  • Buy 1 deli salsa, get 1 free, mix or match. (AM)
Tech Coupon Codes (locations as noted)
  • Hamburger/Chicken/Tuna Helpers – $1.25 (UN, MSWT)
  • General Mills cereals (Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios pictured), 11.25-16 oz. – $2.50 (UN, MSWT, AM)
    • $1/3 General Mills Cereal, exp. 2/18/12 (GM 01/08/12)
    • $1/3 General Mills Cereal, exp. 3/17/12 (GM 02/05/12)
  • Minute Rice, 42 oz. – $3.93 (UN, all MS)
    • $0.50/1 Minute Rice Product, exp. 4/30/12 (RP 01/29/12 #2)
    • $1/2 Minute Rice Product, exp. 4/30/12 (RP 01/29/12 #2 R)
    • $0.50/1 Minute Rice Product, exp. 4/30/12 (Fitness, Feb ’12; Better Homes & Gardens, Feb ’12; Weight Watchers, Jan ’12; Redbook, Feb ’12; Everyday with Rachael Ray, Jan ’12; Good Housekeeping, Feb ’12; Cooking Light, Jan ’12; All You, Feb ’12)
  • Ocean Spray ruby red grapefruit drink, 64 oz. – $2.00 (UN, MSWT)
    • $1/2 Ocean Spray Grapefruit Juice or Juice Drink, exp. 2/28/12 (Fitness, Oct ’11; Better Homes & Gardens, Oct ’11; Weight Watchers, Nov ’11; Redbook, Oct ’11; Shape, Oct ’11; Good Housekeeping, Oct ’11; Woman’s Day, Oct ’11)
  • Yoplait multi-pack yogurt (Go-Gurt, Splitz, and 4 pk. pictured) – $2.00 (UN, all MS, AM)
    • $0.75/2 Yoplait Go-Gurt, Kids Cup, Trix Multipack or Splitz, exp. 3/3/12 (GM 01/08/12)
    • $0.75/2 Yoplait Go-Gurt, Kids Cup, Trix Multipack or Splitz, exp. 3/31/12 (GM 02/05/12)
  • Trumoo chocolate milk, 1/2 gallon – $2.67 (UN, MSWT)
    • $0.55/1 Trumoo Chocolate Milk, exp. 3/11/12 (SS 02/12/12)
  • Yoplait frozen smoothies – $2.50 (UN, all MS)
  • Frigo string cheese, 12 oz. – $3.00 (UN, all MS)
    • $0.55/1 Frigo Cheese Heads String Cheese, exp. 4/30/12 (SS 01/29/12 R)
  • Tai Pei frozen entrees, 12-14 oz. – $2.00 (UN, all MS, AM)
  • New York frozen bread products, 10-14 oz. – $2.27 (MSDFW)
    • $0.50/1 New York Brand Frozen Product, exp. 3/31/12 (SS 01/15/12)
    • $0.50/1 New York Brand Frozen Product, exp. 4/30/12 (SS 02/05/12 R)
    • $1/1 New York Brand Garlic Knots, exp. 3/31/12 (SS 01/15/12)
    • $0.50/1 New York Brand Garlic Knots, exp. 2/15/12 (All You, Dec ’11)
  • Progresso soup, 18.5-19 oz. – $1.50 (MSDFW)
  • Van de Kamp fish, 14-24.6 oz. – $4.47 (MSDFW, AM)
  • Hormel Natural Choice lunch meat, 6-8 oz. – $2.79 (MSDFW)
    • $0.50/1 Hormel Natural Choice Deli Sandwich Meat, exp. 3/2/12 (SS 01/08/12)
    • $1/2 Hormel Natural Choice Deli Sandwich Meat, exp. 3/2/12 (SS 01/08/12 R)
  • Pillsbury crescent rolls – $2.00 (AM)
  • Charmin, 9 double rolls  - $6.95 (UN, all MS)
    • $0.25/1 Charmin Product, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
  • Downy liquid fabric softener, 60 loads; Bounce dryer sheets, 120 ct.; Tide Stain Release, 18 ct. – $5.45 (UN, all MS)
    • $0.50/1 Tide Detergent, Downy Bounce or Tide Stain Release, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
    • $1/2 Tide Detergent, Downy Bounce or Tide Stain Release, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
    • $2/3 Tide Detergent, Downy Bounce or Tide Stain Release, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
  • Pine Sol, 28 oz. – $1.97 (UN, all MS)
  • GE Energy Smart spiral bulb – $3.99 (UN, all MS)
    • $1/1 GE Energy Efficient Soft White or Clear Halogen, Reveal, Energy Smart CFL or Led Lighting Product, exp. 4/14/12 (SS 02/12/12)
  • Duracell batteries, AA/AAA4, C/D2, 9V1 – $2.50 (UN, all MS)
    • $0.75/1 Duracell Coppertop, Ultra Power, Ultra Photo Lithium or Specialty Batteries, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12 R)
  • Stayfree maxi pads, 14-24 ct. – $2.50 (UN, all MS)
    • $1/1 Stayfree Product, exp. 2/15/12 (SS 01/08/12 R)
  • Crest toothpaste, 4.6 oz. – $.99 (UN, all MS, AM)
    • $1/2 Crest Toothpastes or Liquid Gel, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
  • Bayer aspirin, 24 ct. – $2.50 (UN, all MS, AM)
    • $1/1 Bayer Aspirin Product, exp. 4/30/12 (SS 01/29/12)
  • Advil Congestion, 10 ct.; Dimetapp, 4 oz. – $4.59 (UN, all MS, AM)
    • $3/1 Advil Congestion Relief, Cold & Sinus or Allergy Sinus Product, exp. 3/4/12 (RP 12/11/11)
    • $1/1 Advil, Dimetapp, or Robitussin Congestion Relief Item, exp. 3/31/12 (RP 01/29/12 #2)
    • $3/1 Advil Congestion Relief, Advil Cold & Sinus or Advil Allergy Sinus Product, exp. 5/6/12 (RP 02/19/12)
    • $1/1 Advil Congestion Relief Product printable
  • Clear Eyes drops, .5 oz. – $2.99 (UN, all MS)
  • Waggin’ Train dog chews, 3.5-4.25 oz. – $2.99 (UN, all MS, AM)
    • $3/1 Waggin Train Dog Treats Pack, exp. 3/25/12 (SS 02/12/12)
    • $3/2 Waggin Train Dog Treats Pack, exp. 3/25/12 (SS 02/12/12 R)
  • Tide liquid detergent, 24-32 loads – $5.95 (MSDFW)
    • $0.50/1 Tide Detergent, Downy Bounce or Tide Stain Release, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
    • $1/2 Tide Detergent, Downy Bounce or Tide Stain Release, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
    • $2/3 Tide Detergent, Downy Bounce or Tide Stain Release, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
  • Iams dry dog food, 17.5 lbs. – $17.83 (MSDFW)
    • $3/1 Iams Dry Dog or Cat Food, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)

MSMStoreDeals.com

Last week did not go at all as planned.  It really would have been better if it had, but it’s water under the bridge now.  Many of these meals are carried over (at least one more than once).

Monday: Tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches
reality: Nobody’s feeling all that great around here this week.  Most people fended for themselves but I did get up and make a few grilled cheese.

Tuesday: Beef enchiladas & guacamole
reality: We had to go to town in the afternoon anyway, so we ate out (Chinese buffet) for Valentine’s Day.

Wednesday: Aloha Chicken Fingers & rice
reality:

Thursday: Stuffed Pork Chops & random vegetable
reality:

Friday: King’s Arms Tavern Peanut Soup & spoon-bread
reality:

Saturday: Mixed fried rice
reality:

Sunday: Spaghetti & meat sauce
reality: 

 

I went to Lowe’s again.  This time what drew me in was pork chops for $.97/lb. and strawberries for $1.25/lb.  Being a good little shopper (from a marketer’s perspective) I also got some other things.

  • About 9 lbs. pork chops – $8.90
  • 2 lbs. strawberries – $2.50
  • 10 Knorr pasta/rice sides – $1.25 each
  • 2 Sara Lee pound cakes (to go with the strawberries, of course) – $4.19 each
  • 2 large boxes Toaster Strudel with bonus Totino’s pizza rolls – $6.19 each
  • 2 lbs. butter – $3.99 each
  • 2 loaves bread – $.88 each
  • 12 pk. diet A&W – $4.29
  • M&Ms (C’s purchase) – $.79
  • package of hinge screws (this store has a mini hardware store in it – odd, I know) – $1.19

Free coupon for A&W
$.50/2 Toaster Strudel
$3 off any meat wyb 10 Knorr sides

Total before: $60.83
Total paid: $53.04, 13% coupon savings
As you can see, some things are really good prices (pork, strawberries, bread) and some are really not (pound cake, Toaster Strudel).  True savings are hard to calculate compared to my regular grocery store.

I also went to Dollar General for a few things:

  • Angel Soft 12 double rolls – $6.00
  • 2 Little Debbie Valentine cakes – $1.50 each
  • toys C spent her allowance on – $4.50
  • dog collar – $4.00
  • 2 Finish Quantum 25 ct. dishwasher tabs – $4.00 each
  • Disney Valentine cards – $1.00
  • store brand disinfecting wipes – $1.85

$5/$25 Dollar General coupon
Free coupon for Angel Soft
2x $1/1 Finish Quantum

Total before: $30.33
Total paid: $16.41, 46% coupon savings

You have seen what you have on hand.  Before that – and maybe still – you’ve gotten a good look at many, if not all, of your family’s recipes.  And you have an idea of what kind of recipes you’ll be making, with your weekly or monthly plan.  With this information in hand, make up a checklist for your pantry of items you want to have on hand at all times.  Make three sections – for dry/canned goods, refrigerator, and freezer.  Think about the things you make and what your family likes to eat – not just for meals, but what do you want to have on hand to quell the munchies or for after-school snacks or desserts.  It is my personal opinion that every kitchen should always have on hand the makings of at least one quick and well-liked meal and a good dessert or two.  Make sure you list both versatile basics, things like flour and sugar and the like that are used in a multitude of applications, and also one-recipe oddballs that keep well and *are used* in your family for a favorite recipe, things like marinated artichokes or canned pumpkin.

Then compare your list of reality and today’s list of ideals, and set up your shopping list to fill in the blanks.  Decide what to do with things you have that you don’t readily use – find recipes to try and add them to your upcoming menus, or donate the food, or if it’s been sitting there since the last millennium just toss it.

View previous Control Panel posts.

Before you can plan a menu, you have to know what you have.  Go to your pantries and take a complete inventory.  I don’t just mean the dry goods cupboard either.  Include your refrigerators and freezers as well.  If you’d like to take the opportunity to straighten and purge, feel free, but all we’re really after is a list of items you find.  If you find something tucked away in a corner that you don’t remember buying, don’t know what you’d use it for, and/or have never before eaten, you might want to rethink your shopping strategies, but that’s another topic entirely.  Speaking of shopping, a pantry inventory is very useful in preventing accidental over-buying.  If you plan to have chili dogs one week and assume you don’t have any chili since you made something else with it a couple of weeks ago, you would go and buy more.  A pantry inventory might reveal 4 cans of chili sitting in the back of the pantry, hiding behind the green beans.

Today is the fact-finding mission.  How do you want to record this in your Panel?  You could set aside some time (put it in your schedule) each week or month to take a complete inventory from scratch.  Or you could make up a master inventory sheet on which to keep track of what goes in and out.  Would that be attached to the refrigerator or a cabinet door, in a computer file, in a notebook…? Next we’ll determine what *should* be in your pantries.  No, not from some arbitrary list – that’s how you probably ended up with those odd things in the corners.

 

This year I plan to record savings and earnings towards year-round holidays and long-term savings, and post a wrap-up each month.

January – holiday account:
+$14.40 Amazon book sale
+3.25 ATM surcharge rebate
+$6.00 Pinecone Research surveys
+$5.00 Brita rebate
-$1.70 clearance Christmas decorations

Net total: $26.95

January – long-term savings:
+$32.00 ING new account bonus
+$.05 interest
+$81.96 savings contributions
-$60.00 overdraft

Net total: $54.01

A slow start so far.  February is looking up.

Meal Deal – Spaghetti (UN, all MS) 2/8-21

  • Buy Rosina meatballs, 32 oz.
    • $1/1 Rosina Meatballs, exp. 2/29/12 (ALL YOU, Dec ’11)
  • Get Food Club spaghetti, 16 oz. and Pepperidge Farm garlic bread free.

Meal Deal – Barbacoa (AM)

  • Buy 1 lb. deli barbacoa.
  • Get 1/2 pint beans, 1/2 pint rice, and 12 ct. corn tortillas free.

B1G1 Deals (locations as noted)

  • Buy 1 pkg. Pilgrim’s boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders, get 1 free, equal or lesser value. (all)
  • Buy Folgers classic roast, 33.9 oz., get International Delight creamer, 16 oz. free. (UN, MSWT, AM)
    • $0.25/1 Folgers Coffee Product, exp. 3/5/12 (RP 02/05/12)
    • $0.25/1 Folgers Coffee Product, exp. 3/5/12 (RP 02/05/12)
  • Buy Keurig K-cups, 12 ct., get International Delight creamer, 16 oz. free. (MSDFW)
  • Buy any hair color, get Bioplus SoSilk shampoo, conditioner, or drops, 3-12 oz. free. (UN, all MS)
    • $1/2 Revlon Colorsilk Product, exp. 2/15/12 (SS 01/15/12)
    • $1/1 Root Erase By Colorsilk, exp. 3/4/12 (SS 01/29/12)
    • $2/1 L’Oreal Excellence or Excellence To-Go Shade, exp. 3/25/12 (RP 01/29/12 #2)
    • $2/1 Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme, exp. 4/5/12 (RP 02/05/12)
  • Buy 2 Cover Girl cosmetics products, get 1 free, equal or lesser value. (UN, all MS)
    • $1/1 CoverGirl Product, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
    • $2.50/2 CoverGirl Product, exp. 2/29/12 (P&G 01/29/12)
  • Buy 1 Market Street burger, get 1 1/2 off. (MSDFW)
  • Buy 1 lb. St. Angel brie, get 34 Degree crackers free. (MSDFW)
  • Buy 1 deli torta de jamon or pavo, get agua fresca, 24 oz. free. (AM)

Coupon Match-ups (locations as noted)

MSMStoreDeals.com

This weekend I went to a store I don’t usually frequent.  Right here where I live we have a small independent grocery store that is available for emergencies, but I wouldn’t rely on it.  30 miles away “in town” I shop at a large chain store (Market Street).  Halfway between here and there is another small chain store (Lowe’s) that is, appropriately, halfway between the two.  We get their sale flyer every week but I usually don’t see anything compelling enough to make a separate stop.  This week, however…

The front page showed whole boneless ribeye roasts for $3.99/lb.  I don’t know exactly what it usually is for ribeye at other stores, but I’m guessing it’s quite a bit more than that. (Later note: The new Market Street ad has ribeye steaks on sale for $5.99.)  It was enough to get me looking at the rest of the ad and I found a few other things that I would like, so I made the trip.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a whole ribeye, but they’re around 15-20 lbs. without the bones.  I got one a little over 16 and had it cut roughly 1/3 into steaks and the other 2/3 into 2 roasts.  All together it was $65.  Other notable deals:

  • 4 Delimex taquitos, $5.39 each – $2.00/1 coupons.  I bought 4 because that was all that was on the shelf.  I still have 8 of those coupons to use in the next week or two.
  • 2 Lay’s potato chips, $4.29 each – b1g1 sale.
  • 4 large Sunny D, $.99 each
  • 1 Pop Secret 3 pack popcorn, $2.29 – free coupon
  • 1 Post cereal, $3.79 – free coupon
  • 1 loaf of bread, $.88

Total before: $177.07
Total after: $159.75 – $65.04 of which was the meat; who knows what the savings was on that.
10% savings overall, 15% if you take the ribeye away.

View previous Control Panel posts.

A weekly menu plan is basically the same as your Basic Week Plan, but for food.  Usually dinners are the main sticking point in a family, but if you struggle with breakfast and/or lunch also, consider doing the same thing for each meal.  Look at your weekly schedule, and determine a basic type of meal for each day of the week.  If you consistently have movie nights on Thursdays, you could have pizza those nights.  Or on days when you know you’ll be out running errands you could assign crockpot dinners.  Maybe set aside one day a week to try a new recipe.  If a weekly “schedule” of menus seems too restrictive, try a monthly scale instead.  But don’t assign meal types to each day in a month, just divide the number of days up into meal types – 9 chicken dinners, 5 meatless, 6 pasta, etc.  This is to avoid getting into a same-food rut over the course of a week or month.  The ultimate goal is to facilitate meal planning whether you like to do it by season, month, week, or day.

Are you a written menu by the month kind of person or fly by the seat of your pants with whatever you can pull out of the pantry/refrigerator/freezer right before dinner?

If you’re interested in seeing other’s plans, OrgJunkie has hundreds of people link up every Monday.  With my weekly menus I also come back and update each week with the reality of what we did eat each day, whether we stayed on course, and reviewing recipes to see how they worked (or not).

I think updating the posts with the reality of what I made is working well.  It’s not just seeing how closely I stuck to the plan, but also reviews recipes I tried for later reference.

Monday: Chicken Quesadillas from Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food
reality: I made chicken quesadillas, but I skipped all the hidden veggie hoopla and just put some cooked strips of chicken in regular quesadillas.  Not because I disagreed with the concept, I just wasn’t up to it at the time.

Tuesday: Boneless Rib Roast with potatoes and artichokes (for those of use who like them)
reality: A last minute realization that there were no eggs with which to make Yorkshire pudding made me far less interested in this meal.  We had sausage and rice instead.

Wednesday: Stuffed Pork Chops
reality: A sudden and odd aversion to eggs, among other factors, led to a lack of cooking and dinner at the diner.  Well, Chris and 3 kids went to the diner, they brought me takeout because I wasn’t feeling well. I *have* to make the roast beef tomorrow, no later.

Thursday: cheeseburgers
reality: I fixed artichokes for the grown-ups in the afternoon when Chris got home from work.  I didn’t want to argue with kids about who does or does not like them, and I only had 3 anyway.  Then the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for dinner.

Friday: King’s Arms Tavern Peanut Soup and spoonbread (mix) – carry-over from last week
reality: Chris went to Sam’s Club after work and brought home large boxes of pizzas, so that’s what we ate.  Even a dessert pizza (which I wasn’t crazy about).

Saturday: popcorn chicken
reality: I went shopping in the next town over and brought home McDonald’s.  It’s been one of those weeks, and most of these meals will end up on next week’s menu.  

Sunday: Tacos from Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food
reality:

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